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November 16, 2017

Mike and Sara Rehab a 60s Retro Ranch : Help! We Need More Light In The Family Room!!!

By Sara In AZ


Ok, so…our family room…I’ll just come right out and say it – it’s dark! The ONLY overheard lighting we have in there are these original MOE recessed eyeball lights.


Which, of course, we REALLY love and all…..but besides some other various lamps in and around that area, well that is it for the lighting in general.

We’ve lived in the Retro Ranch for 3 years now (geez, how can it be THREE years already?!?) and have pondered the lighting in there for all of that time actually. We really thought we’d love to have some additional form of lighting in there….but what?????  The ceilings are low, plus we also have the beams to consider…and we wanted the light to flow with the vintage vibe of the rest of the house too!

The fixture we kept coming back to again and again was the Sputnik chandelier. Everything about the Sputnik  just felt right for that room. So, we looked and we looked and we looked until we found just the right one….it had to have enough lights, but also be flat enough to hang in the family room…but not too flat. And, it also had to be big enough to not get swallowed up in the family room…but not too big. Eek!

Finally, we found just the right one on ebay…and we were on pins and needles as it was getting shipped to us…would it arrive in one piece? Yes! The light was in beautiful shape when it arrived!


So then we had to get to work figuring out the “center” of the room and specifically where did we want to hang this light? Somewhere in there…….


We got to measuring and figured out this was pretty much “center” of the room, well – one of those tapes marks! Smile


Mike whipped out the tools and the electrical wiring and was all about getting this project checked off the list! Before I knew it he had the electrical all wired up and the ceiling pan installed! Wow, color me impressed!!!




At the same time he was installing the ceiling wiring he was also wiring up the switch to control this light. We got lucky here as there was a hole left in our paneling from and old, now defunct,  security alarm installed in our house…we were never sure how to cover the hole, or what to do with it,  until now!

Here he is running the wiring before the box is installed in the wall.


Here is the wiring all cozy inside the new box!


And here is the switch I decided to use…..one of my Beloved Honeywell Tap Lights with an original atomic paper insert. I had a lot of these push button switches I scrounged up over the years and was always planning on using them in our forever house….it didn’t quite work out where we could use them here, but I thought this was the *perfect* spot to at least use one of them!


And now, the fun part…installing the actual light!


OMG! Getting soooooo close now!!!


Eek! It’s finally up…now for the bulbs!




And huzzah! Let there be light!!!


So, so, so, sooooooo excited to finally have this light installed in the family room!!! It is literally perfect in there….the perfect size, the perfect amount of light….and bonus – it looks cool even when it is not lit up! Yay, one more project checked off of the list!

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20 Responses to Mike and Sara Rehab a 60s Retro Ranch : Help! We Need More Light In The Family Room!!!

  1. Uncle Atom Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

    It looks great, nice job! Those bulbs are my favorite, and with three Sputnik’s in our house I’ve bought a lot of bulbs. When one burns out I carefully twist off the star and keep it. You can use rubber cement to attach the Star to a clear bulb and save some money over buying more star bulbs.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks Uncle Atom, I appreciate it! Those star bulbs are my fave too! We actually have some old star bulbs from the late 60s/early 70s with more exaggerated points, so we definitely want to keep those covers! What bulbs are you using for the replacement bulbs? Just regular incandescent night light bulbs? We’d love to use LED style night light bulbs so that they last longer but the only ones we’ve come across are the more cold/white color bulbs and I’d prefer something a bit more yellow/warm like the old style bulb color.

      • Uncle Atom Reply

        November 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm

        Hey Sara,
        I will have to do some searching for that info. With our ongoing move I have stuff everywhere and can’t find much. I do recall that the first batch of clear bulbs I bought were too big and after some more searching I found slightly smaller bulbs that do work. Sorry but I’ll have to get back to you, hopefully your current supply will last a good while.

        • Sara In AZ Reply

          November 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm

          Oh yeah, no rush at all! We do have some extras so we will be good for a while. Definitely let me know what you are using though…if its LED or a regular bulb…etc. Also, if it’s easier you can just DM me on IG when you have the info! 🙂

  2. Kimberly Frederick Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

    EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! They have a Moss Lamp!!!!! I have one, too!!!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Haha, yes we do Kimberly…aren’t they the best lamps ever!?! 🙂

  3. MICHAEL Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 8:01 am

    wow. looks great. my den is almost a twin to your den. with similar art work and clocks. if i can get some time i will send in an email with some pictures. We have a sputnick light over the dining room table, but still dont have a solution for the den. It has a 1980s ceiling fan. no idea where the original light

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      Ahhhhhh, your house sounds fabulous Michael! I’d love to see pics when you have the time…just click the “About” link at the top and send them off to Ruth (her e-mail link is right there) she will forward them on…or if you are on Instagram look me up on there…I am Museum of Kitsch!

      And yeah, I feel your pain on deciding on lights…it is SO hard! You could consider a Sputnik for your Den too……… 🙂

  4. Jacki Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Wow! Sara that family room is amazing and those owls are the fabulous. Can’t wait to see the family room reveal. I was pretty shocked to see the danish modern ducks on the wall. We had those in our family room/ eating nook when I was growing up. Mom then gave them to me; unfortunately, I tossed them when I got into the Victorian craze years ago.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Gosh, thanks so much Jacki! 🙂 It will be a bit longer for the full reveal…still figuring out the furniture situation lol! Awwww, bummer on the ducks…..I found this set at Goodwill some years back…maybe they were the set you got rid of!?! 😉

  5. Melinda Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 8:42 am

    The light looks great and the switch and plate are to die for!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Thank you so much Melinda, I was SOOOO glad I finally got to use one of those switches!!!

  6. Susan from Boston Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Oh Sara,

    That light looks amazing. Nicely done. Also, I love your mid-century home. Gorgeous.

    BTW, I have an update on the cabinet situation which I’ll brief you on, off-line.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Susan, thank you SO much for the kind words! 🙂 I was just wondering about you and the cabinets……..let me know whenever you have the time…no rush!

  7. Stacy Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Just beautiful! The light is stunning and the switch and plate are fabulous!!!! Your family room is perfection!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Ahhhhhh Stacy, you are too kind! Thank you SO much though…..totally, totally appreciate it! 🙂

  8. Lindsay Goranson Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I love this light! And that SWITCHPLATE!! Swoon.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Thank you SO much Lindsay!!!! 🙂 I have seriously been dying to use one of those switch plates somewhere……I figured it was now or never lol!

  9. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I didn’t even know that you had a room like this! I LOVE it! And your additions look just perfect. Man alive, that ranch is lucky that you guys found it.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Wait, what?!??? How did you not know about our family room??? Weird! Thanks so much though……I am SO glad we found the ranch and were able to save it from certain destruction!!!!!!!!!!!!

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